Coping with Loneliness during the Holidays

Man serving soup in serving line

Coping with Loneliness during the Holidays

Provided by Senior Life Solutions at Gothenburg Health

You’re not alone if you are expecting, preparing for or even dreading the thought of experiencing loneliness during the holidays. Many people spend the holidays alone. Whether you are alone by choice or unforeseen circumstances, it is natural to feel a sense of loneliness. 

It’s OK to feel lonely. Loneliness can help you gain insight into what you need at a particular moment. What’s important is that you don’t let feelings of loneliness led to unhealthy coping mechanisms. Keep the present in perspective. New traditions, even those you partake in alone, can be just as fulfilling as fondly remembered old ones. 

The tips below can help you cope with loneliness during the holidays. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by emotions and need mental health support, we can help. 

  1. Do things that bring you joy. Give yourself permission to seek out moments of pleasure. This could be a favorite hobby, reading a good book, taking a relaxing bath, going to a movie, eating a delicious meal, or learning something new. 

  2. Reframe your expectations. Social media, TV shows, movies and commercials present the expectation that the holidays are about being surrounded by family, feeling bright and jolly, full of mirth and joy. Looking at the holiday season from a different angle may help you remove the emotional pressure. 

  3. Share your time. Volunteering is a proven buffer against stress and depressive symptoms. Even performing small acts of kindness, like giving someone a compliment, paying for a stranger’s coffee, offering to pick up groceries for a neighbor, or chatting with someone you haven’t seen in a while can go a long way towards making both you and they feel more connected. 

If you would like more information, education, or would like to discuss support this holiday season, please reach out to your provider or a member of the Senior Life Solutions team at 308-537-1030. Your provider or we will provide you with ideas and support to keep you healthy and safe this holiday season. 

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